I have had some nice moments curling in my life...
This weekend I definitely added another one to the highlight reel.
Randy Ferbey shook my hand, said "good game" and then stood staring at at my 2 rocks counting in the four foot.
For those who did not follow, my team survived an eventful weekend in Gatineau, qualified for the quarter finals and got to play Brad Gushue and Randy Ferby in the quarters Sunday morning.
And we beat them.
There was no fluke - we played even with them all game, came home tied without the hammer and played about as perfect an 8th end as I've ever played and left them with no shot. Zero.
Tom made two perfect freezes, I made one freeze and a difficult to explain hit, roll, tap freeze shot...and they had nothing. We won! We knocked out the favorites.
I realize of course that these guys lose games all the time, and lots of people have stories about having beaten a big name here or there...but we beat Gushue and Ferby in Gatineau. Love it.
We lost a tough game to JM in the semis, but all in all a very good weekend.
Ok enough bragging.
The spiel was won by Serge Reid. Serge beat us in the B qualifier in a game that I estimate will take 2 years and some prescription drugs for me to forget (I was up 4 at one point). But enough about me.
Serge beat Jean-Michel in the finals in a tight game, winning 5-4.
Serge is an interseting team. They never seem to win easily, and they are not as flashy or seemingly as solid as some of the big teams in curling today. They are not even remotely intimidating to play against. But they win.
They won the province. They are on a crazy winning streak. But every time I watch one of their games, they always are a shot or a bad break away from losing. They could have lost to Charette early in the B. They definitely should have lost to me. They looked like they were constantly in trouble agaisnt Rahala in the semis.
And yet, at the end of the game, Serge and the boys always seems to be buying the first round.
They win. And they win. And they win.
Even in the Brier last year, they finished 6-5, but looked like they should have lost more games. The fact is, at the end of tight games, Serge makes his shots and wins games.
They seem intent on proving that last year was no fluke.
They are playing with confidence, they seem to know how to be patient, stay in games, and eventually make the shot they need when they need it. And they won again, and now they are off to the Canada Cup where they will likely win more games than you would think.
Some other random fun stories and facts from the weekend:
1. Many were surprised to see my entertaining spare choice for the weekend: the illustrious Scott Hill (Derek is still recovering from his broken bones). For those unfimiliar with the giant sized curling philosopher, he is as entertaining as it gets on a curling sheet. He can throw as well as anyone - and his sports psychology training, combined with not seeming to care about what people think of him make him hilarious. There is no way to describe Scott other than as a super-genius 12 year old in a giant- sized 40 year old body.
2. Danny Bedard has picked up JP Venne to play 3rd for the season, with Dale Ness being unable to find the time needed. JP is a good choice - a guy who can throw well and knows the game. It was especially entertaining to watch JP play with Danny: Danny has always been a soft shot, touch weight kinda curler who tries to avoid peel weight like it was some kind of plague, while JP seems to get a gleam in his eye and a bulge in his performance pants whenever he gets to take a big backswing. Here is a sample conversation between JP and Danny:
Danny: "Can you give me back four weight for this shot?"
Danny: "How about backline?"
Danny: "Hack weight?"
Should make for an interesting season. All kidding aside - they seem to fit well together.
3. I saw a new one this weekend: a guy got so mad playing against me - he threw MY broom. Really. He threw my Hardline Curling Ultralight over the scoreboard. (I was at the other end holding my sliding broom at the time). He did go and get it before I got to the other end of the ice, but still very impressive.
I have been known to bang my own broom a few times in anger, but have never tried breaking somebody else's equipment. That is a first.
We will keep him anonymous.
4. Dany Beaulieu does a great job running this spiel.
5. Rumours are circulating for a big WCT event in Montreal - possibly sponsored by the Casino! Let us keep our fingers crossed. It is usually not a tough sell to get the best teams in the world to spend in weekend in Montreal, as opposed to Moose Jaw or Gander.
6. Way to go Rick Faguy for winning the open section.
What is next? Nothing big around for a few weeks. Glad that there is no spiel on Halloween - my popularity at home would be very low if I left my wife to handle trick or treating on her own.
Valleyfield - then the Circuit Provincial finals on November 11-14.
Will be back next week to discuss the new men's provincial format.